Flares in Scottish football discussed at Hampden Park meeting

Rangers fans let off flares at a Scottish Cup match
Kick-off at this year's Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers was delayed because of flares

The Scottish FA and SPFL say they are encouraged by steps taken by clubs to combat the use of pyrotechnics.

The issue was discussed at a meeting at Hampden Park, with representatives from the governing bodies, Police Scotland and the Scottish government.

Legislation introduced this year made it illegal to carry fireworks or flares into an event such as a football match.

The meeting was described as "an important opportunity to share information".

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown said it was a "dangerous" problem which was "escalating" when announcing the new law in May.

A Scottish Premiership match between Dundee and Rangers earlier this month was halted for 18 minutes when flares engulfed Den Park in smoke, setting off a fire alarm and forcing the players off the pitch.

And kick-off at last season's Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden in April was delayed after fans set off flares inside the ground.

A joint statement from the SFA and SPFL said: "We heard first-hand the issues experienced by club safety officers and Police Scotland in dealing with pyrotechnics at games.

"The actions of a minority of supporters are having a disruptive and detrimental impact on the safety of the vast majority of supporters and potentially the players and officials on the field.

"We remain committed to working with all stakeholders to address the matter.

"In the meantime, it has been very encouraging to see a number of our clubs take direct action in response to the use of pyrotechnics within their own stadia."

Since June it has been a specific criminal offence to possess a firework or other pyrotechnic at certain places or events - such as football matches, music concerts and festivals - without reasonable excuse.